Team Name: YAS
School: Ransom Everglades High School
Grade: 11th grade
Project Title: Street Smarts
Research reports that over half of all women feel unsafe while walking alone through the streets, especially during the evening. The Washington Post finds that the number of women who report uneasiness while commuting alone in public has drastically increased in recent years. In fact, 61% of women take steps on a regular basis to try to prevent themselves from being taken advantage of. It should not be permitted in society for women to feel this way.
Our project is a simple and straightforward app that aims to bring comfort and awareness to women in order to prevent anxiety while commuting alone. Our app Street Smarts has many unique features designed to keep you safe. Upon launching, the Street Smarts provides users with 5 quick options. Users can press the “Emergency Contact” button, which allows them to change or call their emergency contact as well as share with them their exact location. Other options on the home screen include a “Phone a Friend”, and a “Facetime a Friend” option. When clicked, both of these buttons make it seem as if the user is on a call. Not only is it comforting to feel like you are talking to someone else, but by creating this illusion, the probability of a predator’s pursuit decreases. Through the side menu, the user can also access pages that provide them with information. The “More Information” page brings the user to relevant links relating to women feeling unsafe in their own neighborhood. The “Safety Tips” page provides helpful tips for women such as “Be aware of your surroundings,” and “Walk Confidently.” Our intended audience is women and, because this public safety issue affects women of all ages, we encourage women ages 12 and up to use our app. Even if women feel like they have not been directly affected by the problem yet, the information and safety tips could prevent any issues in the future. In addition, pre-recorded and emergency features will be a quick and simple way to get women out of a tough situation if they need help.
The features within Street Smarts are designed to reduce, and hopefully eliminate fear. For instance, through our app your exact location using longitude and latitude can easily be shared with an emergency contact. Furthermore, our calling simulations can also prevent dangerous situations, and create a sense of reassurance. This would be beneficial when a woman is walking alone at night, or if she enters an unsettling uber. By pretending to be on a call with someone, our user is being expected. Having someone expecting your presence makes you less vulnerable, as predators are significantly less likely to go after you.
To create the Street Smarts, our team learned to use Thunkable, a code-block app inventor. We chose Thunkable because it allowed us to implement interactive features as well as live test our app on an iPhone. We followed tutorials and experimented with code in order to implement features such as location tracking, linked lists, call/text permissions, and a side-menu. The biggest challenge of creating our project was the beginning of the design process, as we had to progress from a blank phone screen to a layout that could easily be used to navigate to different screens.
At first it was intimidating; we came up with many ideas and we had to figure out how to smoothly implement and integrate them into the app. Our design process became smoother as we developed more of the project. The most rewarding part was live-testing our app. Upon putting a large amount of effort into our app, we were proud to ultimately witness the functioning features on our iPhones and verify that Street Smarts could indeed track our location and connect us to our emergency contact.
Note: Thunkable only allows users to view shared project links.”